Trans-Lux

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
Henrynguye5

Editions by
Henrynguye5

Background

Trans-Lux was a company that specialized in rear-projection systems for stock exchanges and movie theaters. With the theater business in trouble at the end of the 1950s, Trans-Lux diversified into television production and distribution; they commissioned the 1960s version of Felix the Cat, as well as The Mighty Hercules. Trans-Lux also brought Speed Racer to the US, commissioning a US dub and handling distribution rights. They also had the distribution rights to a few movies, such as The African Queen. Trans-Lux closed the TV syndication division in 1969, selling its animated shows to Alan Enterprises; with the exception of Speed Racer (whose rights have since reverted to Tatsunoko, the anime's original producer), all of the Trans-Lux cartoons are now owned by DreamWorks Animation through DreamWorks Classics. The African Queen was eventually relicensed to Viacom Enterprises, who sublicensed it to Magnetic Video, CBS/Fox Video and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in the 1980s and 1990s for VHS releases; Paramount now controls the US rights to the film (under license from Horizon-Romulus, the original producers), and handles home video distribution. Trans-Lux itself is still in the display and signage business.

1st Logo (1959-1961)

Logo: On an olive drab field, we iris into a TV screen with a perspective effect applied appears between a huge letter "T" and a huge "L". Above and to the right of the "T" are the letters "RANS" (in a smaller font), and below and to the right of the "L" are the letters "UX" in the same smaller font). The TV screen has Felix the Cat on it, standing in front of a sunburst backdrop; Felix holds his finger in the air and says "Righty-O!" "THE END", written in white letters, fades in at the bottom left corner.

Variant: We cut to the logo instead of irising in. This time the field is either beige or blue, the "RANS" has a period after the S, and the TV screen has the letters "TV" on it. The TV screen fades to a still of Felix waving at the camera.

Technique: Simple cel animation.

Music/Sounds: For the opening variant, the opening theme of the show. For the closing, a fifteen-note horn fanfare, of which the last 4 are a loud sounder; Felix speaking.

Music/Sounds Variant: The beige/blue variant uses a different, faster 4-note sounder, and Felix does not speak.

Availability: Extinct on TV. Can be found on DVD sets of the 1960s Felix the Cat series.

2nd Logo (1959-1969?)

Logo: We see the word "TRANS-LUX", in large, sans-serif letters, styled similar to the THX logo, with the bar on the T and the tail on the S extended to outline "TRANS", the lower bar of the L in "LUX" extending into an underline, and a bar over "LUX" that touches the top right part of the X.

Variants: TBA

Technique: Depends on the variant. This is generally a still logo.

Music/Sounds: None or opening and closing theme of the show.

Availability: Extremely rare. The English dub of Speed Racer used to be a source for this logo, but newer prints struck in the 1990s remove all mention of Trans-Lux. It's also been spotted on old Magnetic Video prints of The African Queen, and on episodes of Mack & Myer for Hire on Decades.

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